Mr. Ray Abner joined the U.S. Navy out of high school and served his country from
1944-1946 during World War II. Entering East Tennessee State College (ETSC) a few
years later, he soon proved to be an outstanding student, athlete, Cadet, and trailblazer.
ETSC’s first-ever Army ROTC Cadet Battalion Commander and Distinguished Military Graduate,
Mr. Abner was also Vice President of the Student Government Association, President
of the Graduate Student Association, and a charter member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
An accomplished athlete who earned a football scholarship and played offensive / defensive
end at ETSC, in 1953-1954, Mr. Abner also earned the distinction of being selected
for Who’s Who Among Students In American Universities and Colleges.
Graduating from ETSC with a degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree
in Economics, Mr. Abner soon began a long and successful career with IBM, serving
in a series of demanding leadership positions in Ohio, Tennessee, and Maryland. During
his more than three decades with the company, Mr. Abner designed, programmed, and
installed computer applications; coordinated activities with the Tennessee state government;
and wrote a series of books – developing strategies and techniques to empower organizations
in achieving their particular mission.
Following his 1991 retirement from IBM, Mr. Abner spent five years with Gemini Consulting
Corporation in Morristown, New Jersey, serving as a business modeling consultant designing
work architecture and processes for the telephone, insurance, financial, distribution,
chemical, and energy industries.
In 1996, he began yet another career - as an independent consulting contractor. He
now helps his clients (which include various corporations and universities – including
ETSU) improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their work. He is thankful that
this most recent chapter has brought him back to work with his alma mater.